| 18.9°C Dublin

My Favourite Room: Former Fran & Jane director turned interiors brand founder Laura Nolan Horgan shows us around her tasteful home

When Laura Nolan Horgan found she had the BRCA gene in 2018, difficult days followed. However, the former Fran and Jane creative director now feels stronger and has started an online business from home

Close

Online entrepreneur Laura Nolan Horgan in the garden of her home in south Co Dublin, which she’s furnished like a room. The ground is covered in non-slip slates, the mirrors are from The Garden Trading Company, London and the rope-weave sofa suite and chairs are from John Lewis in England. “It’s hard to find furniture that is suitable for a small space but this is perfect.” The table is set with some of Laura’s range which includes table linens, cushions, quilts and lampshades

Online entrepreneur Laura Nolan Horgan in the garden of her home in south Co Dublin, which she’s furnished like a room. The ground is covered in non-slip slates, the mirrors are from The Garden Trading Company, London and the rope-weave sofa suite and chairs are from John Lewis in England. “It’s hard to find furniture that is suitable for a small space but this is perfect.” The table is set with some of Laura’s range which includes table linens, cushions, quilts and lampshades

The kitchen units are painted in Belgian Blue; for contrast, the island is painted in Railings. The worktop is Corian.The sofa to the right is from Roche Bobois. Laura says it’s so comfortable she’s had it recovered three times. There is a great flow to the house as there are sliding doors between the kitchen and living room and the same colour scheme is continued throughout. All the light fittings are from Hicken Lighting

The kitchen units are painted in Belgian Blue; for contrast, the island is painted in Railings. The worktop is Corian.The sofa to the right is from Roche Bobois. Laura says it’s so comfortable she’s had it recovered three times. There is a great flow to the house as there are sliding doors between the kitchen and living room and the same colour scheme is continued throughout. All the light fittings are from Hicken Lighting

The suite in the sitting room is from Flanagans, now in Bray, while the painting over the sofa is by Graham Knuttel

The suite in the sitting room is from Flanagans, now in Bray, while the painting over the sofa is by Graham Knuttel

The bedheads in the boys’ room are from Personal Touch Interiors and the wallpaper is Jack ‘N Rose

The bedheads in the boys’ room are from Personal Touch Interiors and the wallpaper is Jack ‘N Rose

Laura in the dining nook off the kitchen, which she customised by adding interest to the walls. “When you buy a new house, you get white walls and that’s it, so we added interest with the panelling.” The table is from the former Fran and Jane shop in Dundrum. The big painting is another Knuttel

Laura in the dining nook off the kitchen, which she customised by adding interest to the walls. “When you buy a new house, you get white walls and that’s it, so we added interest with the panelling.” The table is from the former Fran and Jane shop in Dundrum. The big painting is another Knuttel

Laura designed the bunk bed unit in Elizabeth’s room and Janko Craft made it up

Laura designed the bunk bed unit in Elizabeth’s room and Janko Craft made it up

The bedhead in the master bedroom is from Orior in Newry and the quilt is from LNH Edit

The bedhead in the master bedroom is from Orior in Newry and the quilt is from LNH Edit

/

Online entrepreneur Laura Nolan Horgan in the garden of her home in south Co Dublin, which she’s furnished like a room. The ground is covered in non-slip slates, the mirrors are from The Garden Trading Company, London and the rope-weave sofa suite and chairs are from John Lewis in England. “It’s hard to find furniture that is suitable for a small space but this is perfect.” The table is set with some of Laura’s range which includes table linens, cushions, quilts and lampshades

Suburbia has, in the past, had a bad rep — think Stepford Wives. But that was back in the day when men went off to work and women stayed home alone looking after the kids.

Nowadays most women with families have either a full-time job or a side hustle, and neighbours are a boon in such circumstances; they can become close friends, particularly if you’re all of a similar age group and share similar interests. Your neighbours can also be a support network in times of crisis, which is what online entrepreneur Laura Nolan Horgan found three years ago when she discovered she had the brca gene.

“I had never lived in an estate before, my mother had a period house in Sandycove and my » » husband lived in the middle of nowhere; he lived the horsey life in Meath. It was new for both of us and we are blessed with the nicest of neighbours. We train with a personal trainer on the green, we have birthday parties on the green, and it’s so child friendly.”

Close

Online entrepreneur Laura Nolan Horgan in the garden of her home in south Co Dublin, which she’s furnished like a room. The ground is covered in non-slip slates, the mirrors are from The Garden Trading Company, London and the rope-weave sofa suite and chairs are from John Lewis in England. “It’s hard to find furniture that is suitable for a small space but this is perfect.” The table is set with some of Laura’s range which includes table linens, cushions, quilts and lampshades

Online entrepreneur Laura Nolan Horgan in the garden of her home in south Co Dublin, which she’s furnished like a room. The ground is covered in non-slip slates, the mirrors are from The Garden Trading Company, London and the rope-weave sofa suite and chairs are from John Lewis in England. “It’s hard to find furniture that is suitable for a small space but this is perfect.” The table is set with some of Laura’s range which includes table linens, cushions, quilts and lampshades

Online entrepreneur Laura Nolan Horgan in the garden of her home in south Co Dublin, which she’s furnished like a room. The ground is covered in non-slip slates, the mirrors are from The Garden Trading Company, London and the rope-weave sofa suite and chairs are from John Lewis in England. “It’s hard to find furniture that is suitable for a small space but this is perfect.” The table is set with some of Laura’s range which includes table linens, cushions, quilts and lampshades

Up to her diagnosis, the elegant blonde led what many would perceive as a charmed life. Brought up in south Co Dublin, Laura is the daughter of entrepreneur Fran Nolan, co-founder of the legendary dress label Fran and Jane; this was started by Fran and her business partner Jane Baker back in 1974, and Laura herself worked for many years in the business, which included shops all over Ireland.

“Initially after school I wanted to do fashion journalism but there wasn’t much career guidance and I ended up doing marketing. After that, Mum said, ‘Come and work for me’ and I was there for 11 years,” Laura explains. “Mum and I did all the designing. My primary role was production — we had 220 staff at one time — we did all the buying trips together and it was lovely to go abroad with Mum — the Far East, Paris, Milan.”

Laura says she loved the work while admitting it was a job of extremes. “We had such a following, which was great. Head office was in Fashion City next to TV3 and all the presenters came over nearly every day. That was such a buzz, but it was 11 years of 365 days a year, 24 hours a day. I joined the company when I was 21 and I became creative director at 24; it was a huge responsibility.”

Close

The kitchen units are painted in Belgian Blue; for contrast, the island is painted in Railings. The worktop is Corian.The sofa to the right is from Roche Bobois. Laura says it’s so comfortable she’s had it recovered three times. There is a great flow to the house as there are sliding doors between the kitchen and living room and the same colour scheme is continued throughout. All the light fittings are from Hicken Lighting

The kitchen units are painted in Belgian Blue; for contrast, the island is painted in Railings. The worktop is Corian.The sofa to the right is from Roche Bobois. Laura says it’s so comfortable she’s had it recovered three times. There is a great flow to the house as there are sliding doors between the kitchen and living room and the same colour scheme is continued throughout. All the light fittings are from Hicken Lighting

The kitchen units are painted in Belgian Blue; for contrast, the island is painted in Railings. The worktop is Corian.The sofa to the right is from Roche Bobois. Laura says it’s so comfortable she’s had it recovered three times. There is a great flow to the house as there are sliding doors between the kitchen and living room and the same colour scheme is continued throughout. All the light fittings are from Hicken Lighting

Soon after, it became an even bigger responsibility when she started commuting between Dublin and London after she met her future husband Ronan there — and opened a London branch of Fran and Jane. “We met through a mutual friend at a charity lunch. We were emailing back and forth for a while; he’s nine years older than me, I felt swept off my feet. For our first date we went to Bruges, it was kind of ridiculous. My Prince Charming, he’s cool.” She laughs at the madness of it all.

“We had a ball. I was in London for five years; we lived the dream, we were partying hard, we went away every weekend, I loved it.”

Home & Property Newsletter

Get the best home, property and gardening stories straight to your inbox every Saturday

This field is required

They got married in 2010 when Laura was 25 and four years later, their first child, Elizabeth, arrived; just before her birth, Laura felt they should return to Ireland.

“We had a gorgeous apartment in Fulham, there was an amazing community of Irish there but with starting a family, there was a draw to come home. The idea of being in London without family back-up was daunting,” she says, adding that she was keener to make the move than her husband.

Close

The suite in the sitting room is from Flanagans, now in Bray, while the painting over the sofa is by Graham Knuttel

The suite in the sitting room is from Flanagans, now in Bray, while the painting over the sofa is by Graham Knuttel

The suite in the sitting room is from Flanagans, now in Bray, while the painting over the sofa is by Graham Knuttel

“Ronan was a trader in London, he always says his fingernail marks are still on a Heathrow airport runway. His family are very grateful that I dragged him home.”

In 2015, Fran and Jane downsized. They ceased manufacturing and retained only two shops, one in Blackrock and one in Cork, so Laura left and started a personal styling consultancy, then worked briefly as a buyer for Primark while rearing Elizabeth (seven) and Hugo (five).

“The last few years of Fran and Jane were really tough. For a while I lost the love and drive for fashion but Primark gave me the spark again.”

It was in 2019, while on a career break and pregnant with Toby, who is now three, that Laura got the diagnosis of having the BRCA gene. “It was on my Dad’s side. My cousin got breast cancer — she’s OK now, thank god — and we all got tested. Three of us in total have it {the gene].”

Close

The bedheads in the boys’ room are from Personal Touch Interiors and the wallpaper is Jack ‘N Rose

The bedheads in the boys’ room are from Personal Touch Interiors and the wallpaper is Jack ‘N Rose

The bedheads in the boys’ room are from Personal Touch Interiors and the wallpaper is Jack ‘N Rose

Nothing could be done while Laura was pregnant but the stress of knowing she had the gene didn’t help with the pregnancy and Toby arrived seven weeks early. Then surgery was delayed until Toby was 10 weeks so that she’d be able to look after him.

“I had a hysterectomy when he was 10 weeks old and then a double mastectomy some months later and reconstructive surgery. Mentally I found the hysterectomy so difficult, way more difficult than the mastectomy. I think I’m unusual in that. I think it’s because I could have gone to five children; you always want more than you have, but I feel so blessed to have got married young and had my children quite young.”

In addition, she really struggled with the menopause that followed the hysterectomy. “Toby was a
tiny baby, I didn’t sleep, I had full-blown insomnia and night sweats. Mentally, I was a bit of a basketcase.”

She couldn’t find anyone in a similar boat so she decided to share her journey on Instagram, and since then she’s developed a community of women in the same situation, many thanking her for sharing her story, which has been great for her — and them. It took two full years but she’s emerged from the bleakness of the diagnosis, the surgeries and the aftermath.

Close

Laura in the dining nook off the kitchen, which she customised by adding interest to the walls. “When you buy a new house, you get white walls and that’s it, so we added interest with the panelling.” The table is from the former Fran and Jane shop in Dundrum. The big painting is another Knuttel

Laura in the dining nook off the kitchen, which she customised by adding interest to the walls. “When you buy a new house, you get white walls and that’s it, so we added interest with the panelling.” The table is from the former Fran and Jane shop in Dundrum. The big painting is another Knuttel

Laura in the dining nook off the kitchen, which she customised by adding interest to the walls. “When you buy a new house, you get white walls and that’s it, so we added interest with the panelling.” The table is from the former Fran and Jane shop in Dundrum. The big painting is another Knuttel

“I had some dark days but the fact that I had such a young family helped me to keep going; the fact that washes had to be put on, lunches had to be made,” she says, adding, “Ronan was brilliant, my mum was amazing, as were my family and friends and neighbours, and now I’m on a low-dose HRT so I feel much better. I will be on it for the rest of my life and I will have to have regular colonoscopies and my moles will have to be continually mapped [to be safe] but I’m on top of it.”

Happily, Laura is sharing a different story now on Instagram; she’s started a homewares business called LNH Edit, selling table linens, mats, napkins, cushion covers and quilts, all in vibrant, joyful shades. “I dreaded setting it up but I knew I wanted to do something. I’m so over being stressed, I want to be creative and enjoy work.”

She adds: “I didn’t want the stress of manufacturing, I knew that. I think I was born with an eye for colour and texture and layering and it’s so therapeutic, it’s my happy place mixing textures and colours. Mum helped me and the whole range has fallen into place, I wanted to keep it all at home and I can do that.”

Close

Laura designed the bunk bed unit in Elizabeth’s room and Janko Craft made it up

Laura designed the bunk bed unit in Elizabeth’s room and Janko Craft made it up

Laura designed the bunk bed unit in Elizabeth’s room and Janko Craft made it up

Laura would love to be travelling to the places that have inspired her in the creation of the range — India, Africa and the Hamptons — but for the moment she’s sourcing products that reflect the inspiration.

Much of the stock in her range comes from artisan suppliers in India, and her years travelling with Fran and Jane were invaluable in learning how to work successfully with these suppliers.

“I built up great relationships with suppliers during Covid times. We FaceTime every day. The idea behind the range is newness every week, and I buy small quantities so they are in and out quickly.

“Everything is limited edition. Actually, at the beginning, I bought what I thought was enough for four months but it sold out the first weekend.”

She has found room in her own lovely home for many of the pieces and they really enhance the décor. “I use the house as a canvas and I’m always changing bits and bobs. Sometimes when I see something in situ, I’ll say, ‘That’s fab, I’ll keep that!’.”

The house is four years old and Laura and Ronan were the first people to move into their house on the estate. “We were here for three months on our own; slowly but surely, neighbours started to move in.”

Close

The bedhead in the master bedroom is from Orior in Newry and the quilt is from LNH Edit

The bedhead in the master bedroom is from Orior in Newry and the quilt is from LNH Edit

The bedhead in the master bedroom is from Orior in Newry and the quilt is from LNH Edit

The house is three storeys high with four bedrooms, two of which are en suite. It was a blank canvas and Laura has created features that add character, like the panelling in the living areas, the built-in bookshelves, the built-in storage and the many paintings. Most of all, she’s added lots of vibrant touches.

“I love the colour blue and I love the colour green and I love mixing the two together — I have lots of combinations of the two.”

There’s an old saying that blue and green should never be seen except on the head of an English queen — whoever came up with that one did not have Laura Nolan Horgan’s eye for colour. 

See lnhedit.com
Instagram: @lnh_edit


Most Watched





Privacy